XENIA — The Carroll girls high school volleyball team is undefeated in the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s, American South division.
Thing is, they play in the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North.
Carroll claimed its third win of the season, and all three victories have come against GWOC South opponents. On Wednesday, Oct. 4 the Patriots swept host Xenia by scores of 25-12, 25-21, and 25-14. The Patriots (3-12, 0-9 GCL Co-ed North) won their season opener at home against West Carrollton, claimed a mid-season road win at Riverside Stebbins, and now they have the three-set win over Xenia to their credit.
“I think the girls played great,” said Patriots coach Rachel Krabacher. “There’s a lot of things we’ve been working on, as far as effort and communication, and I think that can still be better, but overall I think we did make improvement tonight.”
Krabacher said the team has been working with a sports psychologist in an effort to build more team confidence. She saw aspects of that confidence in the win over the Buccaneers.
“It’s something we’ve been working with. When we don’t play with confidence, there’s a lot of balls that just sort of fall short of where we need them, and they don’t get in as good of a placement as we want. … We’ve been working with the sports psychologist to get our mental game right, as far as playing with confidence and supporting each other, and I think it is helping,” she said.
Carroll had charged out to a 17-3 lead in the opening set. Xenia (4-15, 1-10 in the GWOC American South) took advantage of a trio of Patriot miscues to pull within 10 points of the lead at 17-7, by kills by Meredith Schock and Olivia Wright, to go with some solid serving by Carly Cogan, allowed Carroll to pull away to the opening 25-12 set win.
Xenia played the visiting Patriots a lot closer in the early part of the second set, but an 11-2 scoring run — with ace serves from Camryn Joseph and solid spikes by Sophia Carter, Mary Kate Fleisher, Olivia Ciesko and a block by Meredith Schock — let Carroll pull away to a 25-21 second-set win.
Carroll rolled out to an 8-1 lead before Xenia coach Jessica Threats called a timeout to get the Buccaneers regrouped. Again, Xenia battled back within 10 points of the lead. This time, Fleisher ended any thoughts of a Bucs rally with a match-ending kill through the middle.
“In the first and third sets, we obviously got off to a slow start. Our serve-receive game was killing us,” Threats said. “The girls picked up their game, but we had already dug ourselves a hole at that point. The second set obviously was a lot closer.
“This team is still trying to work out things. It’s a transition year for us, and I think we’re learning as we go on. The good thing is that most of these girls will be back next year. We’re just trying to get stronger with each game.”
Threats liked the play of Megan Brewer (serving), Heidi Alex (net presence) and Skylar Throop (setting and offense) in the loss.
Xenia returns to GWOC South play at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5 when they will host Trotwood-Madison for their next match. Carroll stays on the non-league road with a 6 p.m. game on Monday, Oct. 9 at Dayton Christian.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.